10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the Lord with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel; 11 and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away. [NRSV]
Returning Home is Never the Same:
The experience of Ezra and the people coming back to Jerusalem from exile comes with the mixed blessing of building something new with the sorrow of what is no longer reality.
John Wesley opposed preaching outside to reach the poor and disconnected, but in doing so transforms the church and the world for Jesus Christ, The council of Bishops, after great study and prayer is putting the resources in vital congregations. Those left behind linger by their choice to live in the past, The commitment is to remember and acknowledge the loss of what we once were, while experimenting in building the new church. The Church of England stayed in the past and is empty. The Russian Orthodox Church has the liturgy but no connection with the people. In our life time, the church will become something new.
Who is our Leader, Who do we Follow?
Remember when Billy Graham was the iconic central figure of the protestant church. Who is next? One of the TV preachers? One of the book publishing authors? One of the political preachers? It is scary to not have the map. But if we follow the old ways we will not find the new Church.
Who Is Lost and Who is Found
It is not comfortable to be lost, but its worse to stay where we are and swap familiarity for faith One of the important questions to ask as a church: What the best day of Jackson United Methodist Church? If you say, some time in the past, you don’t think much of the present and have no hope for the future. If you say, the best day are ahead, then we don’t throw in the towel and we grow closer toward the Light of Jesus Christ. Looking backward, we are grateful and thankful for those who have paved the way before us, but the work of paving a new way is not over.
The Road Goes On, or Does it?
It continues. Where do we start? At the table: Jesus promises to meet us at the table as often as we gather in presence and memory. Remember and Eat. Learn from our past, and step out in faith in our future. Come to the table and let’s eat, weep and shout for joy!